Karen Benn, member of the ECIBC's Quality Assurance Scheme development group, passed away on 4 September. She worked passionately to infuse the initiative with a patients' perspective.
As a patient representative, Karen worked with us on the development of ECIBC quality requirements. She was member of the steering group of ECIBC and Quality Domain Editor for Personal empowerment and experience. Her strong will and dedication were of great value in making those quality requirements answer the real needs of women struggling with breast cancer in Europe. Offering insights on a vast range of topics, from psychosocial support to the latest advancements in science and technology, Karen was active in all our discussions, always ensuring the voices of women with breast cancer were heard and valued.
Karen was Deputy CEO of Europa Donna (ED), where she worked to further ED’s advocacy goals for over 18 years. She was instrumental in developing the European Parliament's written declaration 'On the Fight Against Breast Cancer in the European Union' (passed July 2015) and represented ED in many other EU initiatives, such as CANCON, EPAAC, EUROCAN, etc. Karen also ran ED’s annual Advocacy Training course, which has been running for over 13 years. She was also closely involved in ED’s research agenda and was part of the steering committee of Breast International Group (BIG)’s AURORA programme.
We have admired her, as a person and colleague, for being so determined to fight breast cancer not only at individual but also at a community level. We will never forget her engagement and passion in fighting for better solutions in healthcare. All the members of the European Commission Initiative on Breast Cancer are honoured to have had Karen as a collaborator for so many years.